One of the most important health protocols you can do for yourself is to consume digestive bitters on a regular basis. Digestive bitters are a key aspect of great digestive health. You may be wondering, what the heck are digestive bitters? Digestive bitters are herbs that are consumed as a tea or as a liquid tincture before eating a meal. These herbs are very bitter. Their bitterness when tasted stimulates the body to get ready for the coming meal. When a bitter substance is recognized by bitter receptors on the tongue, a chain of neural and endocrine events begins, labeled as the “bitter reflex.” Mediated by the release of the gastric hormone gastrin, this reflex results in an overall stimulation of digestive function, which over time strengthens the structure and function of all digestive organs (liver, stomach, gallbladder, pancreas, etc.). These digestive bitters stimulate the gastric juices or as I like to say, the gastric fire, to be prepared to break down the impending meal. The main gastric juice involved in this process is hydrochloric acid, which is released by the parietal cells in the stomach, which is regulated by gastrin, a hormone, which is secreted by the G cells.
The job of the stomach is to break down the food that is consumed, mainly the protein, into a chyme ball or acidic soup so that the protein and to a certain extent, the fat and carbohydrates, will be able to be absorbed, assimilated and utilized by the small intestine and large intestine through a complex and elaborate system that involves the pancreas, liver and gallbladder and many enzymes and trillions of bacteria.
If stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is not strong enough then all the other mechanisms and duties performed by the pancreas, liver, small intestine, etc., will be diminished and many problems, minor and major, can arise, with the main problem being malnourishment.
Millions of people suffer from low stomach acid and the results are: indigestion, constipation, heart burn, gas, burping, acid reflux and a host of other problems. Besides a big change if diet, digestive bitters will be a huge help. The best way to take digestive bitters is in the tincture form. Take 40-60 drops of the tincture in a little glass of water or hold a little bit of water in your mouth and squirt the drops into your mouth and swallow. Do this 10-15 minutes before the meal and do this before every meal.
The following is a list of some of the various digestive bitters: Angelica, Dandelion, Goldenseal, Horehound, Wormwood, Peppermint, Orange Peel, Yellow Dock, Fennel, Ginger, Cardamom and Gentian.
Digestive bitters were a big part of many cultures and are still a big part in cultures around the world. It’s time to bring this health remedy back to our culture.
Healthy Bacteria and Digestive Health
Healthy Bacteria and digestion are deeply connected to ensure a healthy body and mind. Healthy bacteria and digestion work synergistically together. Bacteria are the staff of life. Bacteria do not cause disease. Processed foods cause disease. Health begins in the gut, mainly the large intestine, where 70% of the bacteria in your body, resides. Bacteria are part of your immune system and they help to dissolve toxins. Bacteria also aid in assimilating nutrients, producing certain nutrients and forming a healthy bowel movement. Healthy digestion is directly related to healthy bacteria. Nutrition aids in keeping bacteria in the correct balance. Healthy bacteria and digestion are so very important to ensure an overall healthy life.
Watch this video for more information on bacteria and its role in awesome digestive health.
Digestive Health is the key to a healthy body and mind. If your digestive health is awesome, you will be living free of illness and disease. Let’s take a quick look at the digestive system.
The digestive system consists of your mouth, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine and anus. Digestive health begins with chewing your food properly. Saliva mixes with the food and begins the digestive process. The next step in digestive health is the most important: the stomach and stomach acid. Once food enters the stomach, hydrochloric acid is secreted to break down the food, mainly protein, into a soup or a chyme ball. Stomach acid, when breaking down food, should be between a .8 and 1.0. Stomach acid is extremely acidic and it has to be in order to break down the food so the small intestine and the enzymes from the pancreas and the bile from the liver and gall bladder can further break down the chyme ball so that the body and the cells can absorb the nutrients from the food.
If the stomach acid is not strong enough, the chyme ball will not be broken down enough and all the actions of the small intestine, pancreas, large intestine, etc, will be out of balance.
If the stomach acid is strong enough, the pancreas will secrete the right amount of bicarbonate to alkalize the acidic chyme ball and enzymes to break down the chyme ball and the gallbladder will secrete the correct amount of bile to further break down fat.
Most of the absorption takes place in the small intestine where the nutrients will slip through into the blood stream and the fiber and other parts of the food will continue on to the large intestine.
The large intestine is where the bulk of the bacteria resides and for good reason. The bacteria in the large intestine are part of the immune system, help to create certain nutrients, absorb some of the nutrients from the food and create a stool to be secreted out of the anus. The key to a healthy large intestine and healthy stools is the correct balance of bacteria. The bulk of your stool is dead bacteria, not fiber.
Another problem that can happen in the digestive system is bacteria overgrowth in the small intestine and bacteria in the stomach. If this happens, major digestive problems will occur such as Chron’s disease, Colitis, bacteria infections, fatigue, etc. The small intestine contains some bacteria and the stomach contains none. The main reason for overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine and bacteria entering the stomach is low stomach acid.
Another interesting aspect of digestive health is the balance between alkaline and acidic parts of the digestive system. The mouth is alkaline, the stomach is acidic, the small intestine is alkaline and the large intestine is acidic.
This is just a small, but very informative, amount of information about digestive health. If you are having any type of digestive problems, please book a package of consultations with Gillette Nutrition so you can learn the skills to heal and to achieve awesome and amazing health.
Bacteria is the Staff of Life
Bacteria and germs actually help our bodies to become stronger and healthier and they help to remove toxins from our bodies. I refer you to Aajonus Vonderplanitz, PHd in nutrition and the creator of the primal diet. He states the “janitor” role very clearly. In fact, Aajonus, states that bacteria, germs, viruses and even parasites aid our bodies in removing toxins. A quote from Dr. Henry Bieler sums it up: “DISEASE IS NOT CAUSED BY GERMS, BUT BY THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENT WE CREATE WITHIN OUR BODIES FROM TODAY’S COUNTERFEIT FOODS!”
I also refer you to “probiotics”, the friendly bacteria. Countless books have stated how friendly bacteria play a role in building our immune systems and removing toxins, etc. from our bodies.
Should We Worry About Bacteria?
Bacterial concern is a phobia that has swept the civilized
world. Our natural food-supply is being annihilated because of it.
We must look rationally at the bacterial issue. Consider the fact
that many tribes ate primarily unsalted raw meat, unsalted raw
fats and/or unsalted raw dairy products from the beginning. They
did not wash their hands or sterilize their food before eating.
Every form of natural bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and
campylobacteria were eaten with their food, abundantly and
constantly. Why were they vibrant, healthy and disease-free if
microbes are the culprits?
From the time babies are born, they put everything in their
mouths, including dirt and microbes. It is believed that babies build
immunity through small benign doses of bacteria, allergens, and
pathogens. I believe that for millions of years, animals, including humans, formed working
relationships with bacteria, germs, viruses and parasites. Those
microbes have a janitorial role in nature and we benefit from
them. When parents stop babies from putting stuff in their
mouths, they hinder the relationship with microbes and the
environment, unless of course the objects are poisonous, such as
man-made chemicals and most toys that are made from plastic.
I am not saying to never wash your hands or take a shower, but do not use anti-bacterial soap and products that are filled with man-made chemicals and do not overly use soap and wash your hair everyday. Begin to have a good relationship with nature and with bacteria. Play in the dirt, plant a garden, walk barefoot, eat lots of raw foods, including fermented foods and become one with the beauty of Mother Nature. As you embrace the role of bacteria, you will become healthier with a stronger immune system, a stronger digestive system and a stronger neurological system. Yes, your brain will function better and your mental state will improve.
Low Stomach Acid
Do you suffer from gas (flatulence), bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, or that rock in the stomach feeling? Is your digestive health poor? Your stomach is not producing enough acid. One of the most under-diagnosed and misdiagnosed health conditions is low stomach acid, medically referred to as hypochlorhydria. Low stomach acid can cause a host of health problems such as: malnutrition, bacteria infections, autoimmune disease, skin rashes, arthritis, mild depression and anxiety and overall digestive problems. Low stomach acid is caused, mainly, from unhealthy eating and stress. The over prescribed medical protocol of using antacids is not the answer. In fact, antacids make the matter worse. Watch this video for more information.